THE LUCK OF THE IRISH PRODUCES A CANADIAN HAT TRICK AS DEMPSEY WINS THIRD CONSECUTIVE RACE WITH A YELLOW-FLAG VICTORY AT THE MOSPORT
Irishman Peter Dempsey completed a 'Canadian hat trick,' winning yesterday afternoon's Round 8 of the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear. Dempsey, driving the #21 Andersen Racing / LotusWorks/ Allied Building Products Mazda, also won last weekend at Trois Rivieres and the weekend before that at Road America, becoming the first driver this season to win three races.
Finishing second at Mosport was Joel Miller in the #20 JDC Motorsports / Mazda / K&N Air Filters Mazda, followed by Tom Gladdis in the #5 Andersen Racing / Marrache & Co. / Allied Building Products Mazda. The Expert Series winner was Chris Cumming, driver of the #16 World Speed Motorsports / Inviro Medical Mazda, while the Gerry Kraut, driving the #55 JDC Motorsports / Dougherty & Co. / Dougherty Funding LLC Mazda, won the Master Series class.
"I guess you could call it the 'the luck of the Irish' that kicked in at just the right time for me today," said Dempsey. "I wasn't sure going into the race that we had the pace to win, but I was able to pass Edwards on lap 7 just a few seconds before a full-course yellow came out. When the race went green again for a couple of laps I was able to hold him off, then we had that final incident and the race ended under yellow. It's not really the way you like to win a race, but it's been a great three weeks and I'm really happy for the Andersen team and my sponsors."
While the race began cleanly with a textbook standing start and some hard racing in the opening laps, ultimately half the race was run under yellow largely due to the cleanup required when a car laid down a trail of oil from turn 6 all the way to turn 8. The final nine laps of the race were under caution and when it became apparent that the cleanup would not be done in the time allotted for the race, series officials called for the checkered flag.
Rounding out the top-5 were pole-sitter John Edwards, who's #7 AIM Autosport Mazda seemed to have the measure of the field, but got caught out of position by the long final yellow, and Alex Ardoin, in a strong comeback after a massive shunt in qualifying destroyed his #51 Mundill Racing / Oral & Facial Surgery Center / Twister Trailer Mazda, forcing him to start in the team's backup car.
Suffering the 'luck of the English,' Dempsey's teammate Charles Hall, who came to Mosport leading the championship battle. He qualified 5th in the #77 Andersen Racing / Blimpie / AccentBanking.com /Allied Building Products Mazda, but got off into the marbles on a high-speed turn and went for a hair-raising cross-country ride toward the wall. He was able, barely, to keep it away from the concrete, but broke the right front suspension and had to pit for repairs. He finished 19th, one lap down. Having a better time of it were Brazilian racer Ciao Lara, driving the #19 Mundill Racing Mazda, came out of it all having moved up from his 16th-place qualifying spot to finish 8th, and rookie Rusty Mitchell moved up from 17th to finish 11th – his best result so far this season – in the #22 Mitchell Motorsports / Motorola Mazda.
At the conclusion of Round 8 of the 12-race 2008 Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear, Joel Miller, moves into the lead of an extremely tight championship battle with 274 points. Peter Dempsey is in second with 273, followed by Alex Ardoin with 271, Charles Hall with 262, John Edwards with 252 and Tom Gladdis in 6th with 247 points.
The race will be broadcast on SPEED TV at 1:00 pm (ET) Sunday, October 12. The next event, a double-race weekend, will take place on the Thunderbolt track at the brand-new New Jersey Motorsports Park, September 12 – 14.